Awareness-based Philosophy

Here is a post where I list by points about my understanding about awareness, which by practicing, will certainly help each of us to live a better and fuller life in all aspects, including, personal, career, love, financial… Please take time and give each point some thinking of your own and chew on them because each can easily turn into a full individual post or essay. After all, you can only reap what you sow. Enjoy!

Awareness is the basis of everything — the beginning of the self, the end of the self, the self’s connection to everything, how everything is connected.

You choose to awaken your awareness, where you start by rediscovering the societal, cultural, and religious conditionings and preconceived notions that have been ingrained and seem innate. Be ready to let go of the ones that are simply bondage, even though you have come to know as truth.

Awareness is within all of us. You are awareness if you let go of attachments and desires and just be.

Awareness is like a non-discriminating, impartial silent observer that exists in all of us. With it, you can understand yourself, and then define your values and what is important in your life, not what others or society tell you. When you know your values and priorities, you no longer listen nor care what popular beliefs are.

Awareness is neither about positive nor negative. Thus, awareness is oneness. As oneness goes, there is no opposite, and with no opposite, there exists void, emptiness, nothingness. This is the idea that is behind the saying that oneness is also void, emptiness, or nothingness — Everything is one, and one is nothing, and everything is nothing.

Even the dualistic nature of things speaks oneness. The meaning of good is subjective to the meaning of bad. Put more simply, good does not exist without bad. So should happiness exist without sadness. All thoughts are partial. An object must have a subject. It is all connected.

Because of oneness and things all being connected, there exists causality (or karma), which is absolute. There IS a circle of life, not just of humans, but of all things.

Awareness is attention to emotions and thoughts, and as those become clearer, you get closer to see and to sense things as they are. Attention, attention, attention.

Awareness is also attention to your body, your muscles, your nerves because the sensations, mainly tensions, of your body is every bit connected to your emotions and thoughts. How you feel and what you do about your body can affect your emotions and thoughts. But so can emotions and thoughts affect your body. Unfortunately in some cases, people do very bad things to their body because of emotional turmoils. Notice how your body tense up when you feel strong emotion, and also notice how deep breathing has a calming effect. Since you can notice your body and mind, we can be sure that such awareness exists.

Living in the moment is seeing and sensing things as they are, where you simply be with no judgment of good or bad, positive or negative. Attention, attention, attention.

Emotions and thoughts always happen. Awareness, Zen, Buddhism do not tell you to deny yourself of emotions and thoughts. The difference is awareness/attention to your emotions and thoughts, or lack there of.

When you become aware, seeing reality as it is, seeing oneness and causality, and begin to live in the moment, is also when your hopes die. Hope that your partner will love you more. Hope that you will not be alone. Hope that you will make more money. Hope that future will be a better place. Hope that heaven awaits upon death. All those hopes die because there is just the moment, and the moment is perfect (without ego, judgment, dramatization…) Hence the talk of hopelessness in Zen. Without hope, it simply is. There is just THIS moment.

Because there is also just this moment, you should always do your best. Your best in this moment will lead to your best in the next. And whether you think you are doing your best or not, you are doing your best. Your best may not be “good” but that is just a coloration by thoughts and it is still your best. This is why every moment is perfect. You did your best, move on. Live in the moment, not the past, not the future.

Ego is the “self” that is created from emotions and thoughts. That is why awareness helps us demolish ego and also why, without awareness, people are driven by ego, in other words, driven by emotions and thoughts.

Attachment causes suffering. Any form of attachment will end in pain. Attachment is attachment to ego, to emotions, to thoughts, and in other words, lack of attention, lack of awareness to your emotions and thoughts. People may be attached to tangible things, but each attachment to tangible things are based on attachments to certain thought or emotion. When you are so attached to being happy or feeling “good”, you are not aware because you can only be happy if you were once sad, and you lose sight of the moment. That’s why, be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Attachment can also be sad to get hung up on one side of a duality, and hence lack of awareness to see oneness and emptiness.

Detachment means the demolishment of ego, accomplished through active attention. Detachmeng does not mean emotionless and thoughtless. Detachment is not apathy or indifference because that just means you do not care about the world around you and therefore you fail to be aware and see things as they are, which are all connected, as you are to the people around you. In other word, apathy and indifference just mean you are running away from problems.

When you are aware, you will not fail to care as everything is related. Hence the compassionate and meticulous nature of aware beings.

With awareness, we simply do things with full attention, without interference of ego, emotions, and thoughts, and thus, allowing us to do what we need to do to the best of ability without complicating thoughts. Life as it is is simple! As such, we can take care of our responsibility without dramatization, and we can do our best each moment and be most effective.

When you see things as they are, when you see everything as connected, when you understand nothingness, when your attachments and hopes die, when your ego is demolished, is when true love happens. True love, true compassion, true kindness come from an aware mind. Hence, when you no longer need someone is when you begin to truly love.

Nature provides unconditional love to mothers to their children. However, aside that, truly unconditional love that we may have for family, friends, strangers, nature, and the world will come from a sense of awareness.

The process of practicing awareness, to begin to see your own thoughts and emotions, and thus the challenging of your own ego and preconceived notions is full of turmoils and takes much patience and persistence. It WILL take time. It WILL involve pain. Think of it like reprogramming your own body and mind, after years of bad societal programming.

Freedom, joy, peace, euphoria are all side effects of you returning to your original state of awareness, though they are not the end one should seek. Focus on the practice of awareness.

Zen is not an easy way out. Buddhism does not provide a silver bullet. Christianity cannot save your soul. No religion does any of those. They are just truths and sets of rules and philosophy put together by other people who came to their own understandings. They do contain much wisdom, so study them and learn them. Don’t just follow. Don’t accept the convenience. You must do work, hard work on your own.

It is easy to say or think that all things are connected, but it is up to yourself, individually, to pratice awareness and come to your own realization.

In the beginning is awareness for all, and as you regain more awareness, so will the desire to learn about yourself, your community, and the world continues to grow. Think how babies and little kids have such amazing capacity to learn. Think how many questions they ask, until they got silenced. Our society, marketing schemes, cultures, religions, education system completely dull our awareness when we are growing up.

I am not here to force you to learn. Chances are you want to learn because you are reading this. I do not pretend to know everything because I know so little yet. And it is not even about me. It is you, in every moment, you get to choose. You are choosing in every moment. You are choosing the end you want — awake to your own awareness and a journey of rediscovery, or stay a distracted mind that continues to live in a masquerade. Both can be truths. Which truth do you seek?

Originally posted 2008-06-23 21:22:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

To Hope, Not To Hope

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Pandora Box. A little curiosity went a long way to nearly destroy mankind and introduce all sorts of evils into our world, but also left us with one thing to live for to counteract those evils — hope.

Hope… seems to be what everyone lives for everyday.

Some of us simply hope to be happy. Some live on the hope that their partners will shower them with more thoughtfulness, respect, and love. Some live on the hope that the next relationship will sweep them off their feet. Some live on the hope that luck would finally come their way and all problems will be solved. Some live on the hope that others will treat them nicer the next day. Some live on the hope for the next best job. Some live on the hope that the next video game, gadget, clothing, furnitures, or goal achievement will provide the next rush of excitement. Some live on the hope that themselves, or their children will be the next most famous or richest person in the world, somehow. Some live on the hope that when they die and they will reach heaven, or… hopefully not hell. There are all sorts of hope that drive the human world.

But you know what? Hope is way too overrated these days. So much hope we have that create nasty effects on us.

People with much hope for financial gain may go out of the way, or the legal way, to quickly obtain what they want, even though it means harming others and people the love.

People with much hope for an awesome relationship are stuck with an ideal and could not bring themselves to pay attention to people that may already be around them.

What else? Hmmm… remember yourself getting the thing that you always hoped for, or the achievement that you fought so hard for. And the awesome feeling when you got that thing or achievement? It didn’t last very long huh? And you find yourself kicking, clawing, and screaming to try to keep that feeling. And when you can’t, you have to look and search hard for the next thing to get you back the awesome and happy feeling. I certainly had done that.

Before I continue, may I say that what I say below is not for the light hearted. If you easily get upset or offended with not-so-common-sense idea, you may want to skip today’s post. For others, I leave you with the following thoughts to consider.

You know what I say? I say F hope. The heck with hope. Hope be damn. The best place to live is a place without hope. Without hope, you grasp the moment, and the moment is all we have. With hope, people often fail to see the truth. With hope, people act as if they are not responsible. With hope, people fear to take action from fear of failing to reach the ideal that symbolizes by the hope. With hope, people wish to go to heaven than do what they can during this life on earth. How about I say there is no heaven? Nor hell? What if this earth is all we have? And this sub-100 lifespan is all we have? Can you accept that?

Hope is another trickery that people play with themselves in their mind. That is why as far as I am concern. I am not here to try to inspire you. I want you to see for yourself things as they are, and no more.

If you can lay down your hope, you can do the best you can in each moment. If you simply do your best without hope, you will probably be surprised how far you can get. If people can do everything they need to do without hoping, they can do whole-heartedly and most sincerely, and they can do almost anything they want.

Without hope, you truly see.
Without hope, you consciously choose.
Without hope, you simply do.

Originally posted 2008-08-28 22:40:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Money is not the Root of all Evil


The world appears to be obsessed about money.
The entire human society runs on the circulation of money.
Almost everyone is into making money, one way or another.

We also often observe that…
People dedicate their lives hoarding money.
People stuck worrying everyday about money.
Friends turn against each other for money.
Family and relatives break blood bonds on money issues.
People of authority sometimes do horrible things for money at the cost of the public.

The list keeps going… but…
Money is not evil.

People mistakenly carry this antagonistic mentality about money despite they would like and even love money themselves. So then, they prefer not to talk about it because of their mentality. They may worry that having and liking money will cause other people to think they are evil. However, whether they show it or not, they want more money. And don’t we all. What a paradoxical relationship.

The society supplies and feeds this negative connotation that the word “money” carries because of the bad things that happen when money is involved and what people would do for money.

Money is evil is a misconception and self-limiting thoughts. It also makes us irresponsible to believe that.

At the end of the day, humans are the ones responsible for the evil.
The people who made the choice to do bad things for money are responsible.
There is no other explanation.
Stop blaming.
The responsibility is on us.

Money is not a negative thing.
Money is just a tool.
It is just a dead object.
It is just an invented abstraction for us to trade like people trade goods in the ancient time.
Let us stop putting the responsibility on a dead and abstract thing.

You may also say that money leads or creates greed, but does it really? The fact is that greed is a result of our own thoughts. Human creates greed, and if money has anything to do with it, it is that human allows money to influence themselves to become greedy.

Money is like any other tool we use in our everyday life.
Screw driver, hammer, drill, etc.
People can kill people with those tools, but we never say a screw driver is evil, a hammer is evil. Heck, we can kill people with our fists, aren’t we the evil one then?

As a tool, money provides us leverage.
It gives us power…
Ah, power…
That is the key.
That is where we can attribute why people consider money evil.
As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Money provides power in this society.
Lots of money provides lots of power.
Having an inexhaustible amount of money means absolute power.
Money cannot buy everything but you will have “nearly” absolute power, at least.
So I suppose we can suppose that having a lot of money can screw with your mind if you had not master your mind in the first place.

That is exactly why I write this post.
To get your minds out of the gutter where money is evil.
To clarify that money is a tool.
Money is just a tool.
It is neither good or evil inherently.
It is all about what you do with it that matters.
It is why it is important to understand your values and priorities in life.
What you do with it will dictate its usefulness and meaning, which is why hoarding money for no reason is not good (save, save, save… without spending). And that is exactly what some people are doing.

Another good reason for the clarification is when people think money is evil and as a result…
They don’t think about it.
They don’t learn about money management.
They don’t read about personal finance.
They don’t learn the rules and laws concerning money.
Which becomes a bit of a problem…

It is going to be a problem because they won’t care to read my post!
Ok, just kidding.

It is going to be a problem because in this society, we simply cannot do away with money.
Their ignorance will incur extra cost.
Their ignorance will make them lose their hard-earned money.
They will likely be trapped in “rat race”.
They will likely stay poor.
If they are born rich, they may cease to have financial stability.

Any of that happening would suck. Majorly suck. And it sucks for me too because it is my intention and my hope that people can improve, as I always insist. A hope where people can have happier life because happiness is what we are looking for, after all.

Why don’t you help me spread this message out?

Originally posted 2008-04-17 22:39:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Keeping an Open Mind

Last time I mentioned Awareness; however, there is one thing that goes hand in hand with it. It’s being open-minded. Being aware alone is not enough. If we’re close-minded, how do we change ourselves? How do we allow our thoughts to change and to improve?

You may already think, “Of course I’m open minded.” Well, let’s not be so sure yet and give yourself some leeway to be skeptical about that.
Continue reading Keeping an Open Mind

Originally posted 2007-02-25 21:59:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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